3 Texas players losing ground on depth chart in spring ball

Talented newcomers have stolen the show for a few positions groups for Texas football in the first half of spring practice.
Sydir Mitchell, Texas football
Sydir Mitchell, Texas football / Tim Warner/GettyImages
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J'Mond Tapp, Texas football
J'Mond Tapp, Texas football / Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman

J'Mond Tapp, EDGE

Something that is always critical regarding roster management and the portal in this day and age of college football is the path to playing time in live-game action for third and fourth-year players.

While those third and fourth-year players could still have multiple years of eligibility remaining due to the various redshirt rules and the COVID year, their time has still come when they have a decision to make for their future if they don't have clear paths to playing time.

And considering that the Longhorns are already over the scholarship limit for their projected fall roster in 2024 this spring, we're bound to see some quality third-year players who have been buried a bit on the depth chart transfer out.

Texas has a handful of sophomores and juniors at position groups that are significantly deeper and more talented than they were at any point in the last two years under head coach Steve Sarkisian. Edge rusher, running back, wide receiver, and offensive line are key spots that could see some roster attrition this spring due to scholarship limits and what is really an abundance of riches talent-wise for Texas this offseason.

One example of this could be a player like redshirt sophomore edge rusher J'Mond Tapp, who is a talented player for this defensive front that hasn't played much in the last couple of years. Tapp has the physical upside and pass-rushing tools necessary to be a quality EDGE player for Texas's defensive front.

But he hasn't shown that development and consistency in practice to finally break through on the two-deep in the last 12 months.

In the first few weeks of spring ball, Tapp has had to fight for second and third-team practice reps. Texas's EDGE position has so much talent and depth in the mix, especially due to the new additions from high school recruiting and the portal this offseason, that everyone has to fight for their spot on the depth chart.

UTSA transfer Trey Moore has been an immediate standout for the Longhorns in spring practice. And the same thing can be said for true freshman edge rushers/early enrollees Colin Simmons and Zina Umeozulu.

Like Mitchell, Tapp should be considered one of those Texas defenders that has the most to prove in the second half of spring practice and the Orange-White Game on April 20.

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